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Helping Texans Compare & Understand Their Health Care Options

Estimating Prices When You Don't Have Coverage

Websites such as or provide an average cost estimate for various medical procedures.  Don’t forget to ask your provider if you’ll need any additional services, like lab tests or radiology scans.  Look up the price of all the services to get a more accurate estimate.

Talking to doctors and hospitals directly gives you the most accurate estimates.

Questions to ask when planning an upcoming medical procedure.  Use this form to help you estimate a procedure's cost. Take this form to your doctor and ask them the questions on it.

Comparing the Price of a Doctor Visit

Call different providers and ask how much you would have to pay for the exact services you need.  Keep in mind you might not be able to get an exact price quote from doctors or providers who haven’t treated you because they might not know the full extent of your condition.  However, you should be able to get at least a general idea about what the cost will be.

Comparing the Price of a Hospital Visit

Sometimes you will need care from several providers, rather than just one.  For instance, a surgery might include multiple surgeons, an anesthesiologist, and a radiologist.  Each one can bill you separately.  First, choose a hospital you want to work with and get a price estimate.  Make sure it includes the cost of each provider who would handle your care.  This will make the estimate more accurate.  Then, get the same information from other hospitals so you can compare prices.

Tips If You Don’t Have Coverage

  • Consider getting health coverage.  Health coverage helps you get the care you need and protects you financially.  Even minor injuries and illnesses can cost thousands of dollars to treat.
  • Make sure to compare both price and quality.
  • Your provider must give you an estimate if you request it.  Request a detailed estimate with billing codes so that you can compare costs for different providers.
  • Don’t forget to ask if you’ll need any additional services before, during, or after the procedure such as lab tests, radiology scans, or physical therapy.  
  • If your treatment becomes more complicated, it may cost more than expected.

Don’t be afraid to ask for a discount.  If you pay cash at the time of service, providers are more likely to give you a discount.  If you can’t afford your care, some providers have a charity care program.  You can also ask if your provider will give you a payment plan.  However, beware of health care credit products.  These often have very high interest rates.

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Last updated: 10/06/2015